by Jim Bruce
This essay first appeared in the Harvard Business Review blog and comes from the pens of Deborah Gruenfeld, Maghadam Family Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Lauren Zander is Founder of the Handel Group.
Gruenfeld and Zander posit that authenticity is of great value as a leader quality worth aspiring to. They point out that acting in a way that feels truthful, candid, and connected to who you really are is important. Except when you are being a real jerk and then it’s highly problematic.
While individuals are encouraged to be themselves, you do get the whole person, and sometimes we can be pretty nasty – overly critical, judgmental, non-communicative, etc. These behaviors, while authentic, are not terribly helpful.
Gruenfeld and Zander suggest a five-step process to work on those less than helpful elements in each of our authentic selfs:
The authors close their essay by saying “Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you authentic self, unleashed in all of its glory, is your key to effective leadership.” It is most likely not!
Take some time this week and get some real feedback about the dark side of the authentic you. And, then commit to do something about it.
. . . jim